For USA Triathletes, January is time to #Dream. USA Triathlon just completed their third annual #DreamingSeason social media campaign, a program that encourages both veteran and first-time triathletes to set and work towards their athletic goals in 2020. The campaign fosters multisport connections and provides athletes with resources to keep them on track as they focus on the 2020 season.
Most triathlons occur during the summer months, and USA Triathlon wanted to generate excitement and motivation among athletes during the offseason, so they took to social media. The campaign worked to encourage engagement in the community by posting triathlon content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with questions as the captions. Those who answered the questions in the comments had the opportunity to be randomly selected for prizes related to triathlon training and performance. This year, the #DreamingSeason campaign spread rapidly, with increased engagement by the triathlon community. It had a +39.8% increase in total impressions (on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) since 2019, totaling 12,946,467 impressions and reaching 772, 340 people.
The #DreamingSeason campaign targeted more than just returning triathletes; it sought to promote the sport to those looking for a new form of exercise. “Triathlon can completely transform people’s lives. We constantly strive to show just how accessible and inclusive triathlon really is. There are countless super sprint triathlons, indoor triathlons, and virtual triathlons for first time triathletes to participate in, in a non intimidating manner” says Ross Lippe, marketing and business coordinator for USA Triathlon. A major campaign by USA Triathlon is the Time to Tri Initiative, which makes triathlons easily accessible to beginning triathletes. Lippe shares the story of one of the Time To Tri ambassadors, Marcus Cooke, who changed his life by training for and participating in triathlons. Cooke once weighed over 500 pounds, but lost over 200 pounds throughout his triathlon journey, going on to compete in several marathons and Ironman races, including the Kona World Championships for Ironman.
What does the future look like for #DreamingSeason and USA Triathlon? Athletes can now get involved with the Dreaming Season Virtual Triathlon, in which participants can compete in a triathlon on their own time, whether that be in a day or over a month. Compatible devices can link to the Time to Tri platform and, through the platform, athletes can track their performance and compare to other athletes in the program. Lippe emphasizes the benefits that triathlon cross-training can have on those training who bike, swim, or run, but have never put the three together, “I can certainly attest to the benefits triathlon has on swimming, as I picked up triathlon the summer before my sophomore college swim season. The cross training undoubtedly played a role in me hitting all best times that year.”
Having reached hundreds of thousands of people, it is clear that the #DreamingSeason campaign was a success, however, USA Triathlon is not looking to stop there. They hope to continue to inspire and encourage athletes to participate in the sport, whether it be their first triathlon, or one of many. It’s time to #Dream!